There are few things more luxurious than Evan Funke’s cacio e pepe, a dish so simple that its success is entirely contingent on exactitude and unflinching execution. It’s the type of cooking you’ve come to expect from Bucato’s kitchen in Culver City. Up until now, Bucato’s handcrafted pastas were the stuff dreamed about while we scurried through the work day, anticipating its open doors at 5 p.m. Today, however, marks the launch of the restaurant’s new lunch service, which will be served Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., along with a brunch service offered on Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting August 10.
“Obviously there were many factors to consider when opening for lunch,” says Funke, who always believed Bucato had the potential to be a viable lunch destination in Culver City. “Our central location, parking, and al fresco dining were just a few things that made opening for lunch an easy decision.”
Funke says there are clear favorites on the dinner menu that will make an appearance during lunch hour. “In some cases we took dishes and simply lightened the preparation: great sandwiches, old favorites from Bologna, spins on classics, and a few new dishes round out the list.”
What we’ve heard of the menu so far sounds promising: a spicy pork meatball panino with rapini stufato (a type of vegetable ragú) and ragusano cheese; charred octopus with the Sardinian specialty pasta fregola sarda; lamb chops “scottadito” (roughly meaning “burned fingers,” and refers to our impatience to let the meat cool down) with insalata putanesca; roasted beets with farro, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, spiced yogurt and feta; and spaghetti alla chitarra “cart-driver style,” an homage to Italian street-cart food.
And to answer your biggest question, yes, Bucato’s famed porchetta sandwich, served on lardo-toasted ciabatta with pesto and a fried egg, will make an appearance very soon. It’s not on the rotating menu this week, but will be added later on down the line, according to Funke. That news alone is worth celebrating.
Same day reservations may be made by calling 310-876-0286
Bucato, 3280 Helms Ave., Culver City, 310-876-0286